Jonathan’s Book and Litany of Omissions

By Carl Umegboro

Nigeria’s immediate ex-president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan recently gathered the crème la crème of the society; within and beyond the shores of the nation for the launch of his book, ‘My Transition Hours’. Personalities including President Muhammadu Buhari answered roll calls either in person or represented. Former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo alongside his Ghanaian, Benin Republic and Sierra Leone counterparts; John Mahama, Boni Yayi and Ernest Bai Koroma respectively personally graced the occasion as well as former heads of state, Generals Abdulsalami Abubakar and Yakubu Gowon. Buhari was however, represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Mustapha Boss. As the event took place during campaign era, it was more or less a political gathering strategically set to score political points. Major political parties were ably represented by party chieftains.

The event was climaxed by overwhelming tributes on Jonathan, shockingly by the same group of dramatis personae that vehemently joined forces to kick him out from Aso Rock unprecedentedly. Jonathan was indeed tremendously decorated with indescribable words one speaker after another. People were shocked that the same dude that was tagged a millstone during 2015 election suddenly metamorphosed to an asset which pointed to lack of political ideologies in the system.  Someone had jokingly asked, “is this the same Nigeria’s Goodluck Jonathan or a cloned one; maybe another strongman from Sudan”? Probably, on account of the perceived cloning that is trending in the society. Unfortunately, the delusion exposed and reduced the originators alongside news-peddlers to gross naivety and awkwardness to assume that an adult could be cloned. What a sarcastic innuendo!

Now, on the new book, Jonathan vehemently missed a golden opportunity to put down his one or two experiences while in office that could resourcefully add value in governance to those in government and future leaders as some other national ex-leaders from other clans would do. A critical look in the book showed that in substance, it was patterned after Obasanjo’s “My Watch”; thus a catalogue of flimsy excuses, fallacies and ad hominem. From apportioning blames to the former US president, Barack Obama over defeat at the 2015 polls to why he conceded defeat and consequently handed over as if presidency is anyone’s birthright. Funnily, Obama wouldn’t have possibly influenced Nigeria’s election from White House.

From there, it proceeded to why the 2014 confab report wasn’t implemented until handover claiming unwholesome relationship between the executive and legislature. Then, to why he failed to act idyllically on Chibok saga, Boko Haram insurgencies and many others. The simple truth is that Nigerians were fed up with PDP governments at the centre, and consequently revoked its certificate-of-occupancy; period. The confab from its conception was a kangaroo; politically-motivated merely as a tool for Jonathan’s reelection campaign as such task is legally a legislative function. No doubt, it advantageously presented great opportunity to rub minds on some fundamental issues. Ideally, Jonathan would have in the book articulated his calculated means to implement the outcomes instead of subtly, merely expecting it implemented by Buhari’s government.

However, Jonathan reasonably deserved fair judgment bearing in mind he never aspired to lead the nation if not the sudden demise of his boss, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. Ditto on his inauguration as Bayelsa state governor following his then boss, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha’s travails during Obasanjo’s administration. In other words, Jonathan mounted the podiums as governor and president by providence having been cajoled with assurances of backup-supports by Obasanjo expectedly as his puppet. Unfortunately, Jonathan later retreated and took charge. Thus, most people in his shoes may similarly have poor results due to unpreparedness, absence of ambition and ideas before coming to power which have important roles to play. To make it worse, his predecessors laid no foundation or left blueprints except to loot and squander national treasury, insensitively, Jonathan’s government followed suit.

Nonetheless, the book profusely displayed Obasanjo’s overbearing which parted the duo after some mafias incidentally hijacked the party. Unbearably, Obasanjo tore his PDP’s membership card. It was deductively, obvious that Jonathan helplessly, merely buried PDP after Obasanjo arbitrarily killed the party by maladministration. Corruption unarguably reigned during the administration and as the commando at that time, most people in Jonathan’s administration; legislature and executive were inherited, selected from Obasanjo’s camp. Hence, the trend triumphed until Buhari’s wind of change fiercely blew PDP away from power in 2015. Obviously, neither of the two ex-presidents’ books statesmanly showed resourceful tips towards improving on governance which is paramount.

In Obasanjo’s book for instance, the ex-president sumptuously ridiculed his vice, Atiku Abubakar with allegations of colossal corrupt practices albeit refused to clearly give clues on the illicit transactions for investigations. Possibly, doing so may open can of worms that will indict him too as Atiku, being his subordinate then wouldn’t have successfully concluded any illicit deals without his complicity and approval.

As for Jonathan’s prowess for conceding apparent defeat, democracy is a game of numbers. The electoral umpire as the referee having adopted card-readers wouldn’t have openly manipulated the results when the main opposition was determined to wrestle power. Again, if irregularities existed in an election but not challenged, it isn’t a worthy virtue for celebration. The system grows when citizens determinedly, collectively stand like watchmen against irregularities and injustices. From there, the legal system is strengthened alongside social justice. An Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States of America, Thurgood Marshall remarkably said, “Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on”.

Premised on that, I conclude with a quote by Martin Luther King Jr, “A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right. A man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice. A man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true”.


-Umegboro is a public affairs analyst and Associate, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (United-Kingdom). 07057101974-SMS-only.


Seun Kuti Nominated For 2019 Grammys

Seun Kuti, Afrobeat singer and son of the late legend, Fela, a pioneer of the musical genre, has been nominated for the 61st Grammy Awards.
Nominees for the award, which is widely acclaimed as music’s most prestigious prize, were announced on Friday morning.
Kuti who had reportedly submitted his recent album ‘Black Times’ for consideration by the awards panel in October, was nominated with his band, Egypt 80, in the Best World Music Album category alongside Bombino (Niger Republic), Fatoumata Diawara (Mali), the Soweto Gospel Choir (South Africa) and Yiddish Glory (Canada).

According to the Grammys, the category is “for albums containing at least 51 per cent playing time of new vocal or instrumental World Music recordings.”
Seun’s older brother, Femi, is a four-time Grammy nominee, having been recognised in 2003, 2010, 2012 and 2014.
Other previously nominated Nigerians are juju legend, King Sunny Adé, and late traditional drummer, Babatunde Olatunji.

The award, presented by The Recording Academy, is scheduled to hold on February 10, 2019, at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, United States.

Dangote Group Wins Two Sustainability Awards

Dangote Industries Limited, DIL, has received two awards at the 12th edition of the annual Sustainability Enterprise and Responsibility Awards (SERAS).

The awards were in recognition of its 2017 Sustainability Report and progress in Sustainability Best Practices and Reporting in 2018.

“Two DIL subsidiaries received the SERAS Sustainability Awards for ‘Best Company in Hunger & Food Security’ as well as ‘Best in Supply Chain Management’ categories.

“In special recognition of its pioneering Sustainability Journey in 2018, Dangote Group was also named by SERAS one of the Top 5 ‘Most Responsible Business in Africa/Overall Winner.’

“The conglomerate also received two Certificates of Recognition for the work of its Sustainability and Governance Function,’’ said a statement released on Wednesday by Mr Abimbola Akosile of the Corporate Communications Department, of Dangote Group.

Mr Akosile said the company was recognised for embedding a culture of sustainability across the Group, tagged “The Dangote Way.”

He said: “The Dangote Way underlines the importance of People and Stakeholder Engagement on its journey towards better financial performance through responsible and sustainable business practices.

“Dangote’s seven pillars of sustainability include the Economic, Social, Environmental, Financial, Cultural, Operational and Institutional (encompassing Governance, Risk, Compliance).’’

He said these aligned with the GRI Standard, Global Compact, IFC Performance Standards and SDGs, and were designed to ensure sustainability data embedded at the core of business processes and corporate culture.

According to him, the founder of SERAS, Ken Egbas, acknowledged the visible and inspiring impact of the Dangote Way.

He added that the President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote had also described the Dangote Way as unique approach towards engendering sustainability across all operations.

He said hundreds of employees volunteered to further the Sustainable Development Goals across Dangote Cement Plants in 12 cities across Africa.

The countries, he said included Ghana, Congo, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Tanzania, Senegal, Zambia and Nigeria’s Cement plants located at Obajana (Kogi), Ibeshe (Ogun) and Gboko (Benue).

Garlands For Atiku At 72, By Paul Ibe

Over the past few weeks, Atiku Abubakar has become the man whom Nigerians and others around the world recognise as the leading opponent in next year’s presidential elections, the man to beat President Muhammadu Buhari in the polls and rescue Nigeria from the clutches of a heartless cabal.

But, to many of us who have known him over the past years, he is much more than what the campaign media teams or the global newspaper headlines can ever portray effectively, no matter how well meaning they might be. And I speak as someone who has experienced, on a personal basis, the fullness of who Atiku Abubakar is and what he represents, which have nothing to do with whether or not the cameras are rolling or whether a microphone is thrust in his face, or whether there is an election to be won. I’d like to share some of those personal experiences with you and the world as Atiku celebrates his 72nd birthday on November 25, the same day that he is being elevated from the title of Turaki Adamawa to Waziri Adamawa, in a ceremony taking place in his hometown of Yola.

Atiku Abubakar’s rags to riches story has been in the public domain, especially since his days as Nigeria’s vice president. Much has been told and written about his rise from herdsboy to headsman; of the boy who hardly knew his father before his demise; who sold firewood, herded cattle for wealthy neighbours, receiving payment in the form of grains which his family subsisted on. At the age of 15, he had saved enough to buy his mother a mud house. Of course, he went on to acquire an education, occupy senior positions in the civil service, launch groundbreaking businesses, even before he was elected as vice president in 1999. The trajectory of his life shows clearly that hard work pays. But, there is still so much missing from these popular stories.

I was employed in Atiku’s Media Office in 2010. In 2015, I stepped into the daunting role of head of the Office, thus becoming Atiku’s spokesperson and one of his most visible staff. At first, I expected this to be nothing more than a job that came with heavy responsibilities, which I determined to dispatch with excellence and without reproach. But, before long, Atiku began to show me that I was more to him than just someone on his payroll. He showed me what it was like to work for a boss who cared for human beings, who was interested in the rise and comfort of those below him, who considered their issues as his own issues. I didn’t tell Atiku when my parents were ill but he found out and phoned me to find out how they were doing. Each time he saw me, he first asked details about my family’s welfare before he raised any pending or urgent work matters. Whenever I did anything he approved of, he expressed deep gratitude as if I had done him a personal favour, when I was merely doing my job. Anyone who has worked in our country knows how widely this differs from the typical Nigerian boss.

Atiku constantly reminded me to ensure that his media office reflected who he is, meaning that I should accommodate the rainbow colours of our national diversity. In the past few years, the media office’s staff has comprised and still comprises people from the South-East, South-South, South-West, North-Central, North-West, and the North-East. Anybody who doubts this can research the names of past and present staff on the roll of the office. During Atiku’s 70th birthday two years ago, the AMO staff were determined to get him a gift. But then, what do you buy for a man who pays your salary, who buys you rams during Sallah and bags of rice during Christmas, who can afford everything that you can afford? Still, we were determined to seize the opportunity to express our profound gratitude to the best boss that one can ask for. In the end, we settled on a painting of his portrait. He grinned from ear to ear when we presented it to him. A plaque we also presented to him currently occupies pride of place in his living room. He didn’t disdain our humble gift of love.

Long before he declared his intention to contest for the 2019 elections and before he was overwhelmingly elected to represent the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku shared profound thoughts with me about his concern for Nigeria. Despite being from northern Nigeria, he was worried by President Buhari’s lopsided appointments. He was alarmed at the rise of the Boko Haram insurgency, despite the government’s loud proclamations that the group had been defeated. He was embarrassed by the series of gaffes President Buhari made each time he stood on the world stage, especially one that disdained his wife and women in general. He found it incredible that the government appeared more bent on finding a variety of excuses for the farmer-herdsmen clashes than they were about bringing the carnage to an end. When I arrived to attend a meeting with him sometime last year and noticed Atiku looking sad and sorrowful, I asked him if all was well. “In all my life, especially since the civil war, I have never been this worried for our nation,” he replied. The period under reference was the era of quit notices and counter-quit notices.

Being right there in Port Harcourt to watch Atiku receive the resounding support of the PDP brought to me a joy that transcends my position in his team. Knowing that he will have the opportunity to effect his humanity and hardwork on a national scale is evidence to me that God definitely has Nigeria on his mind. My prayer is that Atiku’s elevation as Waziri and the celebration that will attend his official turbaning on Sunday will be a sign of the good things to come when he eventually mounts the saddle as President of Nigeria in 2019. May the celebrations of Sunday, November 25, be a snapshot of the future that millions of Nigerians from the North, South, East and West are currently looking forward to, as they support Atiku Abubakar to Get Nigeria Working Again.

Mazi Paul Ibe is media adviser to His Excellency Atiku Abubakar.

Between An Old Buharist And The New Buharideens, By Dele Momodu

Fellow Nigerians, today’s epistle was inspired last minute by an encounter I had last night with a Buharideen. I had been contemplating what to write about this week when I ran into a staff of Indomie Noodles, the most popular noodle-processing company possibly in Africa, at a restaurant in Ikeja, Lagos. The gentleman had walked up to me for a quick chat, which was perfectly in order, as far as I was concerned. Indeed, this is a regular occurrence most places I go. It is always likely that I run into those who usually walk up to me to request selfies or general discussion. And so, this young man announced himself as my fan. He did not stop there, he said he follows me on Twitter and enjoys my tweets but added matter-of-factly, so to say, that he does not always agree with me. I responded that I was grateful for his appreciation of me and his following, but I added that two people can never agree on everything, all the time.
Out of curiosity, I asked what his points of disagreements were. Before, he could answer, I already smelt a rat and so volunteered a guess. “Is it anything to do with Buhari?” I asked calmly. He replied in the affirmative, “yes it is…” Here we go again, I soliloquised. These days, I hate going into unnecessary and unproductive conversations with those who have been given the nomenclature “Buharideens” on social media. A Buharist is a mild and reasonable supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari. I belonged in that category between 2014-15. Not anymore. I like the President as a person, but his politics and economics leave much to be desired. I can write a PhD thesis on this subject. Back to definitions. On the other hand, a Buharideen is a blind and rabid supporter of Buhari. He does not, and will never see, anything wrong in Buhari, even if you supply all the evidence in the world. It is always a waste of time to engage such political fundamentalists in argument or dialogue. In the course of this election process, I expect that Atiku will probably also sprout such rabid followership. Such is the fervent, unfortunate passion that elections can engender in this country.
‘Why do you disagree with my position on Buhari?” I probed. “Buhari is still the best Nigeria can offer in the present circumstance…” Hmmm, I sighed. “What are your reasons for saying so?” I had pricked him at that moment and he wasted no time in launching a diatribe of sorts. “Only thieves and looters won’t appreciate this government. Things have improved even if not perfect under Buhari.” I laughed raucously. I was used to those lines whenever I encounter the Buharideens. Everyone is a thief and looter, or friends of corrupt people, except members of their group. Not to worry.
I decided to take him on, even if I didn’t have the luxury of time at hand. “Do you know your party APC and your Presidential candidate would find it hard to campaign with his strongest weapon, anti-corruption, when tomorrow comes, because APC is heavily populated by the same so-called looters who migrated from PDP. I have not read it anywhere that they were screened out or rejected by your party, rather they have been promptly and amply protected by your party…” He nodded in agreement, but still argued that APC was a much better party despite the obvious hiccups and conflicts of interests.


It won’t be hyperbolic to describe APC as being seriously hypocritical, I told my new friend. I reeled out names of the certified and certificated kingpins of corruption in Nigeria who have ensconced and embedded within the APC without as much as a whimper from the leadership of the party. My friend kept mute, as if thinking hard on how to tackle me. But I kept punching him with facts and my wide knowledge of Nigerian politics.
He tried to wriggle out by going totally banal. “We should just let Buhari complete his second term so that power can return to the South West after that.” Almost spontaneously, I exploded: “who told you power would shift to the South West in 2023?” My friend said “it will, if we support Buhari now…” but I disagreed most vehemently and tried to educate him a bit.
“If you are talking of zoning, then you are wrong to assume that it is a binding agreement. When Buhari contested in 2003, who was in power? Obasanjo, a Yoruba man. When Buhari contested in 2007, who was in power? Yar’Adua, his kinsman from Katsina State. When Buhari contested in 2011, who was in power? Jonathan, from the oil rich Bayelsa State in the South South, and he was merely completing the term given to him divinely after his boss died in power. When Buhari contested in 2015, who was in power? Jonathan, who was serving his own first term as President and was seeking a second term, the first time a President from the region that lays the golden eggs was in that position. Did anyone, including Buhari, give any consideration to those facts? Did Buhari not contest against Obasanjo? Why did he not say that it was the turn of the South West and so he would abstain and wait for the time when it was the North’s turn. This is the charade and chicanery on display by the promoters of zoning, which does not even exist in our Constitution.” I concluded.
My friend said no one can stop power coming back to the South. I asked if the South West was the only zone in the South and why he feels the South East or South South cannot have it. “Are the Igbos not Nigerians or why do you think they can’t contest and win the Presidency?” I wondered. My friend said the Igbos have not aligned with a realistic power base which is currently controlled by Buhari. So, I noticed and noted that the strategy of APC in the South West is to brainwash the people of the region into deluding themselves that power is coming back to them very soon as compensation for supporting Buhari. This is so naïve and simplistic. I warned my friend that as we speak, those who are already warming up for the 2023 Presidential election are not limited, or restricted, to any particular zone.
The nonsensical impression that this jejune assumption creates is that some people hold the levers of power as personal property which can be dashed out to anyone, or a group of people, at will, but this is a total fallacy. From the issue of zoning, my friend introduced another reason Buhari must continue as President. He claimed that this is because there is no viable alternative to him. I queried what the man was saying. How can anyone say there is no alternative in a country of nearly 200 million people? I told him that was virtually untrue. It would be pathetic of us as a nation if we believe such foolishness. Exceptional talents abound, in their multitude, that can take us to the promised land. He asked if I can support an Atiku as President of Nigeria and I answered, “why not?’. I felt his next line even before he regurgitated it. “But Atiku is a very corrupt man…” He started the usual vituperations against a man no one has ever tried in a court of Law since leaving office in 2007. No one has even invited Atiku to explain his source of wealth. I told my friend to perish the idea of thinking I, or indeed, any rational man, would ever join his ilk in maligning a soul just for the fun of it. When did allegation become conviction? I informed him clearly that if that is the only way APC hopes to tackle Atiku, it won’t hold much water.
He also exhibited a dangerous mind-set which is presently the fall-back position when Buharideens are cornered. “Where did Atiku get his wealth from?”. He felt he had delivered to me what he must have thought was a sucker punch, but I responded in kind. “Why is it that your members rejoice and gloat about poverty instead of celebrating achievement. If most of our leaders did what Atiku has done in retirement, our country won’t be in this mess. At least Atiku has invested heavily in Nigeria and profited in the process. He should be commended instead of being criminalised without proof. Not everyone possesses this type of business acumen” I added.
He could see he wouldn’t be able to browbeat me about the usual jargons of portraying APC as a party of angels, so he announced he had to go. He appeared sober and subdued. Before he left, I fired another shot. “How about your primaries? I’m reading all sorts? Would you say elections were held in many places? Where they held, would you say they were democratic? And what about the sordid allegations of bribery and corruption levelled by aggrieved members, including our adorable First Lady?” These were more of rhetorical questions and I did not expect him to have immediate answers. It was obvious he was not proud of the lack of internal democracy and lurid accusations of corruption that has blighted the conduct of the party primaries and almost set his party ablaze. He quickly thanked me and disappeared into the night.
At least he could not abuse me frontally like most Buharideens do whenever you confront them with hard facts. For me democracy is always a game of continuous experiment. Every four years, a President must undergo a serious examination about his performance so far, as well as subject his physical and mental state to public scrutiny. Nothing suggests that he must be promoted automatically to a second term in office if majority of the people do not think he has performed creditably. I’m of the firm opinion that whoever I support this time would be dropped if he still does not meet expectations. Being a Buharist does not mean I will become a Buharideen.
There is no doubt that APC is seriously struggling to convince Nigerians that it deserves a second chance. While I won’t join those who claim APC has failed totally, I will support those who feel it has not lived up to its grandstanding pre-2015 election. I say this because we had great expectations. Notwithstanding the rot that had set into our political, social and economic psyche Nigerians believed that true change was desirable and possible. We voted for APC and Buhari on this basis. That change has only happened in very few cases and objective members of APC agree they have fumbled disappointingly. Most of the areas that we wanted positive change in have turned out to be an embarrassing anti-climax for this government. I will applaud the President for some of the achievements of this government, but that is only because he is the titular head of government. Others, particularly the Vice-President and his economic team are to be commended for the fitful and irregular economic progress we are witnessing. The President himself has not personally shone brightly and is apparently surviving on a reputation that is at best jaded. The attitude of government to the rash of violence in the country is less than salutary. We were applauded for attacking President Jonathan over the shortcomings of his government but the Buharideens want Buhari to be treated like fresh eggs, or not to be touched at all. 
Things must really change urgently and drastically in practically all facets for this government to have any realistic chance of winning the elections. It may not be too late. But the current trend and discourse is not going to help it. I believe people are tired of the same worn platitudes. There are many like me who feel our democratic rights to choose our preferred candidates are sacrosanct and must be respected. I will never abuse or stop anyone from campaigning or voting for Buhari and I don’t expect anyone to abuse me for my personal choice, like the Buharideens love to do.
I expect the battle of wits to start from next week. The first offensive is likely to be launched by former President Goodluck Jonathan when the book on his political life and stewardship is launched at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, on November 20, 2018. It promises to be a blockbuster event. The Buhari government has blamed the Jonathan government endlessly for its inability to perform as expected. Former President Jonathan and his supporters would have the first major opportunity to launch a blistering attack on a government that rode to power on the crest of possessing the magic wand to cure the alleged cesspit of corruption and inefficiency they left behind. It is probably a time for Jonathan to compare and contrast. We may yet learn that it is not yet Uhuru, and the past three and a half years have been no more than running on the spot, if even that!
The only ace that the populace have is their democratic right to keep changing governments until we get it right. If we fail to make the right choice several times, that only improves our learning curve. Eventually, one day, our democratic education and experimentation will be complete, and we will throw up competent and capable candidates from whom we can make proper and informed choices. For now, the alternatives are stark. We can only make do with what we have and won’t keep a failed government just because we are afraid of the next. Who knows, where our salvation lies? God works, mysteriously. 
There are interesting days and times ahead…

Saraki, Buhari: Matters Arising, By Pius Adesanmi

I have now listened to Bukola Saraki’s new soundcloud audio of an address in Yoruba to his supporters in Ilorin. It is indeed a galling tell-all, a compelling compendium of his grievances and animus against President Buhari.

Predictably, Buharideens are gushing all over Facebook and Twitter. I suppose they see this in their usual one-track way: Saraki is implicating himself. Evidently, they have not thought through the full implications of Saraki’s revelations: they never think through the implications of anything concerning Buhari.

There is nothing Saraki reveals about himself that we don’t already know: cold, calculating, and irredeemably corrupt, with a warped perspectivization of Nigeria as food to be dished out in a gourmandizing system of patronage. His grievance? Buhari is blocking the yam and the knife after receiving the proceeds of jibiti.

The level of self-implication in corruption by Saraki is why Buharideens are gushing. “Of 36 states”, Bukola Saraki boasts on tape, “I funded Buhari’s election in 30, excluding only the Southwest. I gave N200m, N300m, even N400million to some states, personally phoning bank managers for disbursement.”

This is not Bukola’s father’s money. It is Nigeria’s money that this irresponsible man is claiming to have so wantonly distributed to buy an election for Buhari. Only for things to turn sour after the election: all the juicy appointments he hoped to corner for his cronies in Abuja were denied him by Buhari.

To the Buharideens gushing all over the place, where in this audio clip did Bukola Saraki indicate that your god, Mr. Integrity, Mr. No Corruption, rejected this massive and illicit spending of Nigeria’s funds in his behalf? Remember the saying about the giver & receiver of loot? You are so carried away in your one-track, wishy-washy interpretation of the audio that the obvious implication is lost on you: Saraki is in fact openly saying that Buhari did not honour the ancient code of honour among thieves.

I hate to rain on your parade but Buhari does not come out smelling of roses in these revelations. Like Saraki, he comes out smelling of shit, deep shit. You people must always make Buhari the victim. Consider Adeosun. When she resigned, you whined that she embarrassed Baba by hanging on for too long – making Bubu the victim. The real question was: why did your Baba condone illegality for so long?

Here’s to a future Nigeria where Saraki and Buhari will both answer for the claims in that audio: corruption and campaign finance illegalities.

Kogi East Senate: A Two-horse Race Between Victor Adoji and Jibrin Isaa

By Ibrahim Isah

Online and offline, discussions on the forthcoming Senatorial contest in Kogi East have revolved around two economists and former bankers both with intimidating credentials, enthralling pedigrees but varying capacities to represent their people and deliver on campaign promises. While Dr. Victor Alewo Adoji is running on the platform of African Democratic Congress (ADC), Alhaji (Dr.) Jibrin Isah is running on the platform of the All Peoples Congress (APC).

Earlier Senatorial contests, especially the last two have happened with little or no fuse about the candidates. It was majorly about the Party platform and it the quality or capacity of the candidate. Clearly, the allure form party supremacy had foisted minions and non-performers on the constituency and the constituents who are ultimately the net-losers.

With increasing political awareness, great access to information via various social media channels, escalating impoverishment and shrinking population of politically apathetic, political Parties realized they needed more than just the platform to win elections. It was for this reason that the APC leadership in the State and Kogi East in particular co-opted and worked tirelessly to ensure that Jibrin Isah emerged as its Kogi East Senatorial candidate. It was not that rosy for Victor Adoji as his former Party, the PDP, chose to offer its ticket to the seating Senator, Attai Aidoko, without holding a primary election either in defiance or as an act of impunity. The thinking is that considering the dismal performance of the APC in the State, anyone who gets the ticket of the main opposition Party in the State could be said to have won the Senatorial election. That has turned out to be a huge miscalculation considering the hundreds on PDP members who dumped the Party not necessarily to join the APC but in support of Jibrin Isah.

However, Victor Adoji’s emergence on the ADC platform re-channeled the hemorrhage of PDP members in favour of the ADC and some APC members. Those who have not openly moved have only stayed back to achieve two things one of which is to be beneficiaries of the largesse that has been touted by the divisional party chairman and promised by the PDP candidate, Senator Attai Aidoko.

In a survey of fifty (50) people each across the nine local governments of Kogi East, Ninety Five percent (428 respondents) categorically said they would either vote for Victor or Echocho. Three percent (13 respondents) said they would vote for Amade Edime while less than one percent (4 respondents) said they would vote for Attai Aidoko.

When the question was reversed along Party lines, Fifty One percent (229 respondents) said they would either vote for PDP or APC. Thirty Two percent (144 respondents) said they would vote for the ADC, Five Percent (21 respondents) while another five percent (21 respondents) said they would vote for APDA.

Evidently, two variables (personality and party platform) would play significantly in how the electorates would make their choices in the forthcoming elections especially the Kogi East senatorial election. But, more than any other factor under consideration, the personality of the individuals would play a bigger role.

In the coming days, weeks and months, the involvement of the Igala elite class, various interest/pressure groups, affiliations and accessibility will do a lot to either shift or tilt the balance in favour or against any of the two leading candidates. Issues like the quality of their manifestoes, their performances during the various debates that would be organized as well as the pedigree of influencers they deploy would count a lot in endearing them to the electorates.

There is also the waning influence of major stakeholders across the two leading Parties in the Eastern flank of the State. Findings from the survey also revealed that, most of the youthful members of the parties see their elders as working only for themselves and their pockets and are not ready to take any orders from those they say have compromised hiding behind the doctrine of “Party id supreme” or in expectation of political appointment of contract.

While we could not get access to the membership registers of the two leading Parties to know the total members of both parties in Kogi East, we are told that the total number of Party members in both parties cannot be up to a hundred thousand. That is less than fifteen percent of the voting in Kogi East. Impliedly, most of those who decide the outcome of elections are not Party members but non-partisan voters. It follows therefore that the forthcoming election is going to be form, size and shape more about the personality and less about the Party platform.

In the final analysis, the Kogi East Senatorial election is a two-horse race between Dr. Victor Alewo Adoji of the ADC and Dr. Jibrin Isah of the APC and in the end, it comes down to the very little things beyond the scope of money, thuggery, window-dressing and godfatherism.

– Isah wrote in from Idah, Kogi State.

APGA: A Betrayal of Historic Proportion, By Ikedi Ohakim

By Ikedi Ohakim

It has become very necessary and important for our records, that as a former Governor, leader and contestant for the 2019 APGA gubernatorial primary elections in Imo State, I should address the people of Imo State on the monumental betrayal and injustice done to Ndi-Imo, Ndigbo and Nigeria as a whole by the national leadership of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA).

Let me quickly place on record that the vision of the party APGA, in spite of national pretension, is intricately tied with Igbo nationalism, identity, vision and hopes. It was more of a spiritual than a socio-political organization; that at no time than now has APGA had a better outing than the current dispensation with the huge win recently recorded in Anambra (otherwise called 21 over 21) and the array of highly qualified and credible candidates that aspired to win the Governorship of Imo State through her. The expectation we were told by Obiano was that by May, 2019, APGA would have formed the Governments in Imo and Abia in addition to Anambra. Today this hope is dead and buried.

Despite great assurances to us by the party leader Governor Willie Obiano and the National Chairman Ozonkpu Victor Oye, that the party would conduct a transparent and credible primaries for the aspirants, what we have witnessed is the worst display of dishonesty, failure, collective insult to fellow Ndi-Igbo, administrative ignorance and primitive greed. The criminality of it all can hardly be imagined by any right thinking Nigerian. This is indeed “a theft and betrayal of historic proportion” (A declaration by the association of cheated APGA Governorship Aspirants [N.APGA] on Thursday 11th October, 2018). APGA demanded the sum N4,200 from every member of the PARTY in the 305 wards of Imo state called membership update dues and over 5795 members paid.

APGA charged N10,000 from each of more than two thousand members contesting for delegate positions under the auspices of various contestants for Governorships, Senate, House of Representatives, and House of Assembly.
APGA organized a fraudulent seminar and book launch in Awka (12th September, 2018) where it fleeced various aspirants of more than N100 million; APGA collected more than N585 million from various contestants for nomination form and expression of interests for various offices; APGA foot soldiers collected all sorts of bribes for clearance of aspirants. In all APGA National Leaders fleeced about N2.8b from Imo State alone. In addition to abhorable abuse of many female aspirants in our own hotels and yet denied them tickets.

The party failed to conduct even one delegate election in all of the 305 wards of the state. It could not even raise a panel to do same or spend a dime on the logistics of conducting the delegate elections. The result was that the party could not raise any credible list of delegates for the primaries scheduled to hold from the 2nd October, 2018 beginning with the House of Reps. Until the date of the last deception, there was no approved and published list of delegates from either the state or national office of APGA.

For three consecutive days namely Friday 5th, Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th October, 2018 the party shifted the governorship primaries keeping delegates including pregnant women and nursing mothers for up to 10pm each day with all the governorship aspirants and “their own delegates” (some over 500 party possible delegates from various LGA for each aspirant), with the attendant logistic costs of transporting and feeding them for the three days, waiting and hoping it would hold. At the end of all these charade the party still failed to hold any primary election in Imo State.

By this failure, APGA has violated the basic agreements between party and members and breached the contract to organize and hold primary elections for all her aspirants who worked and paid money for same.

To me the news that the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) now has a candidate for the 2019 gubernatorial election in Imo State is laughable, childish and baseless. The story that one of the aspirants took his fans and went to an unapproved venue (the Nwankwo Kano Centre) and held party primaries for himself alone is criminal and does not make sense. Does it make sense to think that you can hold a party primary election by 12 midnight in an unapproved venue without other aspirants; without the state and local government Executive of the party; without any statutory delegates; without INEC representatives; without DSS and Police; and without the popular Imo State press? Doesn’t it rather sound silly for anyone to believe that you can obtain value from such pretence? Burying her head in the sound has never secured the life of the ostrich from hunters.

It is on record that the state working committee of APGA in a meet on Sunday 7th October fully covered by the print and electronic media declared that the primary elections did not hold. Where then is the basis of the declaration by the National working committee that a candidate emerged? How can we have a winner without a contest or a consensus? That can only obtain in a lawless society.

I must put it on record here to Ndi-Igbo everywhere, that what Governor Obiano, Victor Oye and rest of their gang has done to us in Imo State is an insult to me Ikedi Ohakim; to all the other 250 aspirants that contested under APGA for Governor, Senate, House of Reps and House of Assembly; to the entire State and Local Government Executives of APGA, in Imo State; to all the statutory and ad-hoc delegates who were all fleeced and tortured for three days by the devious maneuvering of Obiano, Victor Oye and their criminal foot soldiers:- To the ordinary party members who were denied their right to vote for delegates and their preferred aspirants as well as denied their right to political education and participation which is a primary function of all political parties.

The APGA members who were defrauded and their rights criminally violated are the traders that stand in the rain and sun to sell their wares on daily basis. They are the farmers, artisans and our jobless youths. They are our church members whom we preach to on daily basis to be law abiding and fear God. But right before us they have been defrauded and their rights violated and abandoned, like sheep without shepherd. This is the time for every Imo person, every Igbo person, every traditional leader, political leaders and religious leaders across Igbo land to rise up and save the Igbo Nation from the assault on our collective psyche and integrity. It is therefore in the best interest of all Christians across the globe and Igbo land in particular that Christians and Christian leaders in our land should rise up and condemn this day light robbery and of course distance themselves from APGA and the beneficiaries of this monumental fraud.

This whole act is an intentional insult and injury to Ndi-Imo in particular as well as an abuse of the respect we have for Anambra State and Ndi-Anambra as brothers (and by the grace of God) as a leading community of the Igbo race, leading in the Church, in education, in politics, in business etc. This is one insult too many. Let this abuse and taking for granted, not continue. Our unity in Igbo land is so important to our survival and development as a people and a nation.

It is indeed too shameful that these disrespectful fraudsters extended their callousness to the handling of the case of the widow of our immortal leader Dim Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu and the daughter of an equally illustrious Igbo leader Chief C.C. Onoh (ani nefu ngwu). Our grievances here in Imo State is perhaps ameliorated by the fact that this criminality was meted out not only to us, but also to Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu and several illustrious Anambra sons who aspired for office under APGA. Let me assure Ndi Imo that the this APGA day light rubbery in Imo will not go unchallenged even if it will take us to the Supreme Court and all courts of public opinion. I would like to appeal to INEC and the security agencies not to succumb to any pressure to support this robbery and massive corruption bearing in mind that our amiable President abhors corruption in its entirety.

I think it is time to face the fact that the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) has failed and must die. The betrayal we see today has always been part and parcel of the history of APGA. Chief Chekwas Okorie, late Dim Chukwuemeka Odimegwu (Eze Igbo) Prince Arthur Eze( Ozo Igbo Ndu) and many stake holders who were critical to the founding of this party were all betrayed. Both Governor Obiano and Governor Rochas Okorocha who rode to power on the back of APGA and Governors in this season of anomie are agents of monumental betrayal of Ndi-Igbo.

Fifteen years since it began to vie and to achieve power APGA has not been able to conduct any credible election primaries inspite of all the vaunted knowledge and wisdom of our people; Not for Peter Obi; not for Obiano; not for Rochas etc APGA has consistently been incapable of conducting ordinary party primaries since its inception. Fifteen years, APGA is still bereft of any leadership capacity to lead Ndi-Igbo in an Igbo wide, nay Nigeria wide, political discussion.

Fifteen years, APGA has grown as a party neck deep in corruption and confusion of unimaginable proportions; a party that lack structural cohesion whose officials are neither trained nor cultured. APGA had become a trading port with a group of unconscionable gangsters strutting as leaders and extorting money from other Igbo states.
It does not make any sense to think of a revival of APGA. Governor Obiano should be the last Governor of APGA. Of course his foot soldiers from Awka and Aguleri know that the party will die with him and were therefore falling on each other defrauding our people and making frenetic efforts to get their last share of Imo Money. We are now fully convinced that APGA had never intended to win elections outside Anambra state and therefore remained a vehicle for internal neo-colonial exploitation of innocent brothers.

I think it is time for Ndi-Igbo from all Igboland within the South East and beyond, to start discussing about a new political platform with which to engage the rest of Nigeria. We need a credible platform to discuss the restructuring of Nigeria which is now before us.

We need the kind of leadership that (as Achebe would advise) would rise to the responsibility of leadership and to the need for personal example which are the hallmark of true leadership. Unfortunately, Obiano and his agents do not have these qualities and APGA is now a tainted platform for noble aspirations.

Imo state today lies prostrate from seven and half years of mis-governance originally promoted by APGA. I had joined the APGA, hoping that her managers would see the fatal error of bringing Okorocha in 2011 and work with me to redress the disaster they have created in Imo.

We did not join APGA without a commitment from the leadership both at state and national levels. We were promised that there would be no imposition of candidates at all levels. We were promised that there would be credible and transparent primaries to elect the party’s flag bearers for different offices. We believed them and invested our time and resources in building a pan Nigerian party, believing that the leadership of the party would live up to their promises of conducting credible and transparent primary elections for all the aspirants.

We accepted numerous apologies and regrets from key party leaders on the use of the party by some federal forces to install Okorocha and destroy the Imo Charter of Equity. We believed them and worked very hard and prepared for the primary elections. And for the very first time APGA had about 5,795 people willing to stand for delegates election to emerge as delegates to vote for their preferred candidates.

Unfortunately the leadership of APGA saw the increasing membership as an opportunity to defraud our people. They rather preferred to add salt to our injury. APGA was like 100 capacity KVA transformer, injected with 500 KVA power (membership) source, it exploded, caught fire and burnt to ashes.

Ndi-Imo nwem, we must walk past this calamity. I am not unaware that the majority of Ndi Imo want Ikedi Ohakim back and that was why they followed me to APGA. The truth is that if the constitution had provided for independent candidacy I could have run as an independent candidate. As former Governor I am equipped with the cognate experience for the job of the Governor, especially the job that would be done post Rochas. I handed over to Governor Okorocha and I know what I handed over to him. I am the only person that has a float of relevant files and can quickly rebuild the bureaucracy and other institutions of governance. Moreover, I have only one term. Therefore, the present chaos in the state and the succession quagmire requires only experienced and clear headed leadership to address.

I have bound myself with an Oath to recover Imo State from an avalanche of failures; a failure of the public bureaucracy; a failure of the state to service her obligations to her workers, serving and retired; a failure of the Local Government Services; a failure of the statutory commissions; a failure and abuse of the State House of Assembly; of the State Judiciary; of our educational system; a failure of our water and road infrastructures and a near collapse of the Pillars of the economy, namely the markets, the artisans, the contractors etc.

We have carefully studied our situation and decided that the best option for our state is to secure for the 2019 elections a vehicle that is not under the control of any external or internal buccaneers, inorder to provide an independent and self reliant leadership that cannot be easily sabotaged by anyone.

Those other aspirants who have been robbed, we assure you of a credible platform to offer yourselves to the electorates and that the up-coming election will be based on whom you are and not necessarily which platform you ascribe to. Working with like minds, we will enter into a new accord with Ndi Imo with our 4 cardinal point agenda of RECONSTRUCTION, REHABILITATION, RECONCILIATION and RECOVERY in addition to the total implementation of the contents of my covenant affidavit with Ndi Imo.
I am more than pleased to announce to Ndi Imo that God Almighty in his infinite mercy has provided us a credible alternative Party-ACCORD. ACCORD, fortunately is the number one party in the ballot paper for 2019 election.

ACCORD believes in oneness and progress; what Ndi-Igbo want in Nigeria is ONENESS in Nigeria that will allow for our PROGRESS as a people. ACCORD will be the key to discuss the Igbo future in Nigeria. We will all laugh last.

Like Nehemiah in the bible, our soldiers must have one hand on our swords and the other hand on our working implements. While we seek redress with APGA, “let us ‘RISE and REBUILD Imo’ (Neh 2:18)” and return her into the hands of God.

-Dr Ikedi Ohakim, Governor Imo State ( 2007-2011)

Day Ibikunle Amosun Met Sango At Koso by Festus Adedayo

Shortly before the 2003 governorship election, then Governor Olusegun Osoba had come on television to address the common grouse of Ogun State people against his four-year reign. He had apparently gleaned security report which predicted his waterloo at the polls. It was a grouse that was ostensibly the river that would shortly drown his ambition to do a second term. “I am not proud,” he had begun pleadingly. “People say I am proud… I am not proud.” This apologia was coming rather too late to save the second journalist to rule Ogun after immortal Editor of First Republic influential newspaper, Daily Express and columnist, Bisi Onabanjo. Osoba was voted out. After eight years of being in the saddle, Gbenga Daniel, whom the electorate gleefully thumb-printed to replace Osoba, had become a lord unto himself too, enmeshed in allegations of rituals, arrogance of power and tragic attempts to play God. This piece will try to illustrate Ibikunle Amosun as the tragic power hero who – barring a last minute reversal – his twilight in power will herald even as he departs Oke-Mosan in a few months’ time.

In explaining the common thread that runs through the persona of these governors, the story of the mystic grandeur of Alaafin Sango and his elder brother, Alaafin Ajaka will clearly illustrate their glide from the zenith of power to the abyss of powerlessness. Like each of the governors too, Sango was a character whose political misfortune arises from the bitter tapestry of politics of his time in the Oyo Empire, which he personally wove, with his moral lapses and character flaws becoming indelible imprints for the rest of modern society. For would-be rulers who abhor the tragic outcome of power-drunk rulers, the Sango power model advertises doom, in and post-office.

Pardon me as I digress. There is a sustained intellectual crossfire among African historians on the correct reading of the interface and cross-cultural exchanges between the Yoruba of South West Nigeria and the people of Borgu, Nupe in present day Niger State. While historians like Idris Jimada in his The Nupe and the Origins and Evolution of the Yoruba, in seeking to reconstruct the centrality of the Nupe pre-the British conquest of the area now known as Nigeria, claimed that virtually all that the Yoruba hold as their cultural artefact, tradition and culture were imported wholesale from Nupe, some other historians have challenged this as barefaced historical revanchism. One line of oral history which may not allow Jimadu’s work to be totally consigned to the realm of historical conjecture is the relationship between the Old Oyo Empire and the Borgu and Nupe kingdoms. It demonstrates that there were inseparable interactions between both kingdoms before the British conquest that birthed modern Nigeria. It is on record, for instance, that the early Alaafins married from Borgu as confirmed by the story of the legendary hero-god, Alaafin Sango whose mother was a Tapa from Nupe.

Oral history tells us that Alaafin Ajaka was the second monarch of Old Oyo. Unfortunately however, his reign was pockmarked by wars. He was perceived as a weakling for his inability to contain the rampaging enemies who surrounded his kingdom, especially the war always initiated by the Owu. It was so bad that Alaafin Ajaka was captured by the Owu and imprisoned in the courtyard of the Olowu. Incensed by this impudence, the Oyomesi sent emissaries to Sango who then resided in the land of his mother in Nupe to come rescue them from the rampaging Owu. A valiant with a renowned magical power of emitting fire from his mouth like a dragon, Sango invaded Owu, vanquished the kingdom and set his brother, Ajaka free. The Oyo however declined to continue with the effeminate Ajaka as their king but installed Sango as the Alaafin instead. Like Osoba, Daniel and Amosun, Alaafin Sango was ushered into the ancient palace of Oyo-Ile with pomp and ceremony, carried in a traditional cart and the people celebrating that, thenceforth, their adversaries would dread Oyo under its new valiant and magical king. It didn’t take long for them to exhibit their crude grovel by the cult of power.

There were different accounts of Sango’s reign. Some of them were steeped in myth and legend, especially the mythical exploits of his three wives – Oba, Osun and Oya, the last said to be his concubine. Oya was also held to have been a spirit with the mythical power to transform to any animal of her choice. While some accounts held that Sango brought prosperity the way of Oyo, others claimed that he was a king consumed by raw power and naked display and use of his awesome talismanic powers.

He was highly mercurial and in a feat of anger, conjured his fire power which manifests in hurling of bolts of lightning which consumed his traducers. This exercise left on the earth’s crust stone axe blades called edun ara. Sango’s tragic end came in the war between his two Generals Timi Agbale and Gbonka and in the bid to destroy Gbonka, as usual, Sango hurled his Edun Ara fire but which had unbeknown to him soaked and in the bid to re-assert its potency, climbed a high rock and, facing the palace, began to hurl his traditional fire which consumed his palace, belongings and children. Disconsolate, Sango journeyed out of Oyo and allegedly committed suicide beside the Koso tree.

While the two governors before him were alleged to have fallen due to their tragic flaws, three objectionable character traits – hyper-choleric disposition, disdain for the other person and excessive flaunt and reliance on presidential power were Amosun’s main Achilles heels. Added to these is his quest to play the role of a conquistador without preparing for the pitfalls associated with it. I will explain presently.

Amosun fiercely snatched the front burner of news reportage recently. Akin to the tantrums of a child in diapers whose cake was relieved him, he grumpily accused Tinubu and Osoba of being the architects of his drowning political empire. Like all governors who ostensibly, in the quest to keep their governmental cupboard skeletons safe from prying eyes, magisterially choose quislings who can safely put the lid on their stewardships, Amosun didn’t hide his decision to handpick a successor. For him, with those massive infrastructure which some have described as needless and incongruent, if a lackey didn’t stay behind to hide the books, he may be done for. He peremptorily listed names of all standard-bearers even before the contest began. He at first told the people that a woman resident in Canada was his pick but as the clock ticked, he zeroed in on Abdulkabir Adekunle Akinlade, a member of the House of Representatives of Egbado South and Ipokia Federal Constituency in Ogun West senatorial district as his candidate. He also imposed himself and seven others as candidates for the Senate and House of Representatives in the forthcoming elections.

In his almost eight years of being in power, Amosun never realised that he was dreaded than loved, apparently due to his irascible nature. His famed Sango-like temper silenced his adversaries and though hurt his cult of followers, but all decided to give him the bull-in-a-China-shop treatment.

He rode magisterially on all as if the power he holds has no expiry, buoyed by his highly-burnished closeness to the presidential seat of power.

Immediately after the 2015 elections and Muhammadu Buhari ascended office, Amosun became the new poster-boy of power in the South West. While the Man Friday of that presidential feat – Bola Tinubu – sulked in his imperial Bourdillon home at his clear denigration and deconstruction by the lanky Fulani President, Amosun relished his advertisement as the new locus of power in the region. Paradoxically, Tinubu had fought Osoba to queue behind Amosun for the 2011 governorship race. At a time when Buhari rudely disclaimed an earlier advertised presidential visit to Lagos, Amosun was pictured in Buhari’s office sharing a school boy-like scintillating laughter with the president in the latter’s office. On many occasions when he sits at Ogun Executive Council meetings and he receives calls, rumour has it that he would loudly proclaim that “it’s the President; I will call him back,” which accentuated his majesty and power. He had untrammelled access to the Fulani General in his Aso Rock sacristy and woe betides whoever crossed the path of his influence. Indeed, while Tinubu could not boast of a ministerial nominee in 2015, Amosun was invested with the power to pick Buhari’s all-powerful Chancellor of Exchequer and he peremptorily converted his Commissioner of Finance into this huge task. Rumour has it that at the thick of his Sango anger, piqued by her alleged refusal to do his dirty biddings, Amosun threw Kemi Adeosun to the sharks by ordering his goons to parrot to the world her NYSC certificate infractions which had origin in Ogun.

Amosun’s presidential link lionised him to take a step forward in constructing a mansion of power which, unknown to him, was made of straws and pack of cards. In one breath, he apparently wondered what height Tinubu climbed in the political equation of the South West that he couldn’t, with the wealth and presidential buttons at his beck and call. So he midwifed a dalliance of allied forces with similar angsts against the Lion of Bourdillon, forces who had at one time or the other been clobbered by the crude political tackles of Tinubu. Amosun found willing allies in two other governors of the South West and they began the job of dissembling the Tinubu political architecture. Oyo proved an immediately fecund ground for their Machiavelli and Amosun engineered the suborning of disgruntled elements to give Abiola Ajimobi sleepless political nights.

At a time they had effectively put spanners in the political works in Oyo and when political pundits had predicted doom for Ajimobi, the Oyo Constituted Authority, for whom an inexplicable dues ex machina always creeps in at a moment when he is politically down, suddenly emerged from his purloined state and began a race which landed him at a border end where he peacefully produced a party candidate successor. Ajimobi today seems to have had a last laugh over Amosun and his gang but what the Amosuns failed to learn off him is his internalisation of that core Oyo wise-saying to wit, in knowing the moment to throw jabs and the juncture to retreat lies the inner strength within the valiant: mon’ja, mon’sa laa mon akikanju loju ogun.

Ondo had earlier been the political trophy of the disgruntled assembly headed by Amosun. With Tinubu’s apparent underground attempt to tackle the candidature of bearded Rotimi Akeredolu by funding another candidate, Akeredolu received massive comradeship from the Amosun gang whose major plan was to wrest Tinubu’s hold of the South West from him. They soon added Ekiti as their trophy when a leading apostle of the dissembling plot was enthroned. The gang was coasting home to victory in Osun until Tinubu, realising the deadly plot of the triumvirate dissemblers, cried to Buhari to intervene.

With this string of political successes in his kitty, Amosun’s swagger went a notch higher. While he was busy fighting wars of conquest outside his jurisdiction, he forgot that in the laws of power, the conquistador needs first to totally conquer his own territory so that when he is being pursued by those whom he daggers outside, there would be a place of shelter to shield him from the scorching sun. He should have known that not for nothing did Tinubu hold on tight to his Lagos territory like leech entangled to the skin. Meanwhile, Amosun’s list of traducers at home had quadrupled. His character flaws naturally assembled those who disdain him on a single file. By the time Amosun returned from his territorial expansionist battles, his territory had suffered serious mortal artillery bombardments. Without firing a single shot, his traducers had strategised effectively and clinically removed the rug from his feet while he was busy exploding in his fury. Dapo Abiodun, billionaire, had become the anchor of the attempt to dissemble his Oke Mosan empire. The rest, as they say, is history. The truth is that, if Amosun had expended at home half the energy he marshalled fighting territorial expansionist battles, he would have found out the massing huge rank of enmity ganged up against him and probably found a way to tackle them. By the time he realised, it was too late.

All Progressives Congress (APC’s) new publicist, Lanre Issa-Onilu’s press release during the week defoliated a hitherto lush garden where Amosun sat in his power, glory and majesty. Amosun was never interested in a transparent process to pick the party’s standard-bearer, Issa-Onilu had said, alleging that the governor resorted to self-help. When it was obvious to him that the crew sent from Abuja by the National Working Committee was impenetrable, he organised his own parallel congress, still believing that the President – his man – would come to his rescue, for old time sake.

Unfortunately for him, Amosun totally forgot that Osinbajo’s loyalty to Buhari would play a serious role in the whole equation. In assembling his team that would vie for the 2019 elections, his arrogance of power was so blinding that he never for once remembered that the No 2 man in the country deserved a single slot in his home state. Rumour had it that a combination of Yemi Osinbajo’s request to his boss to give him the governorship slot, gang-up by the business world of which Abiodun is a strong icon, Amosun’s palpable running afoul of the internal rules of APC and his bafflingly swarming list of enemies could not allow Buhari take a single step in his favour, in spite of his infantile marching of traditional rulers to the Villa. The whole equation of Amosun’s fall, Issa-Onilu described vividly: “no matter how close you are to him (the president), he will listen to you but he will ask for the rules to be followed.”


The moral of Amosun’s power fall is that leaders with his kind of awesome powers should rely on them sparingly but on the people. Second is that, a leader, upon assuming political leadership, should first make a list of his personal foibles and monitor them, lest they drag him to the crucifix. Amosun didn’t tame nor monitor his Sango temper, his arrogance of power and disdain for the other person, a triad of foibles that dragged him to a metaphorical Sango’s Koso – the place of political death.

Dele Giwa: The Flaming Journalist


Today marks the day Dele Giwa died.

Sumonu Oladele “Baines” Giwa was born in 1947 to a family who worked in the palace of Oba Adesoji Aderemi, the Ooni of Ife. After his secondary school education in Ile Ife, he headed to Brooklyn College, USA to study English. In 1974, he married an American nurse. After his graduation in 1977, he proceeded to Fordham University for his graduate school.

Upon return, he landed a job with Daily Times newspaper. He went on to marry former senator Florence Ita Giwa but the marriage lasted 10 months.

In 1984, he and other journalists Ray Ekpu, Dan Agbese and Yabuku Mohammed founded the Newswatch magazine. The magazine redefined investigative journalism in Nigeria.

That same year, he married to Olaufunmilayo Olaniyan. In 1985, the paper attracted the attention of the new military administration of General Ibrahim Babangida which it praised in the beginning. By 1986, he had become a terror and irked the new administration because of the Newswatch criticisms.

He had written about the newly introduced Second-Tier Foreign Exchange Market (SFEM) and stated that if SFEM ( “God’s experiment”) failed, people will “stone their leaders in the streets”. This did not go down well with the government who invited him to the State Security Service (SSS) office on the 19th of September 1986.

On the 9th of October, the deputy director of the SSS Lt. Col. A.K. Togun organised a meeting with airport journalists to state that any report that will embarrass the government be given to the SSS before publishing it. Col Togun alleged that this meeting was also held with Dele Giwa and Alex Ibru of the Guardian Newspaper.

Again, on the 16th of October 1986, Giwa was questioned by Col Halilu Akilu of the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) on the allegation that he was speaking to people about arms importation and for attempting to write the “other side” of the story on the removal of Ebitu Ukiwe as Chief of the General staff to General Babangida in the cover of Power Games: Ukiwe loses out.

After his return, Giwa told his friend Prince Tony Momoh, the minister of Communications that he feared for his life but Momoh joked that it should not be taken seriously.
The following day, a staff of DMI requested for his office number from his wife. Attempts to reach him at his office failed hence the call once again to his home only this time, Col. Akilu spoke with his wife asking her for directions stating that the president’s ADC has something to give Giwa.

The following day, Giwa called to find out why there was a call and Akilu told him not to bother. 40 minutes after that, Giwa received a parcel which it turned out was a letter bomb. He was rushed to the hospital where his last words were to his friend and medical director of First Foundation Medical Centre, Ikeja. According to a report, the veteran “ ‘in burning pains took a look at the Medical Director who was said to be his friend and told him: “Tosin, they’ve got me.’ ”

He died on this day in 1986 at the age of 39.


Source: The Guardian